25 Best Moments in The Swamp: No. 25 — Tebow runs over Seminoles

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Florida quarterback Tim Tebow runs in for a touchdown against Florida State at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Nov. 24, 2007. Florida beat Florida State 45-12. [Bruce Ackerman/GateHouse Media]

It was June of 1992 when Steve Spurrier, fresh off Florida’s first official SEC title, called The Sun columnist Mike Bianchi with a new name for the stadium that would eventually bear his name.

The Swamp.

In the years that followed, there have been some unbelievable games and players. Sun staff writers Robbie Andreu and Pat Dooley came up with their rankings of the 25 best moments since 1992 when Spurrier gave the stadium that moniker.

No. 25 — Nov. 24, 2007

Tebow runs over ’Noles

The set-up: Florida came in ranked No. 12 while FSU was struggling and unranked. Still, Seminole linebacker Geno Hayes couldn’t resist adding fuel to the rivalry by saying Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was “going down” and FSU was going to “smash his Heisman hopes.”

The moment: It was early, but it was spectacular. From the FSU 23, Tebow dropped back and immediately faced a pass rusher who had come free. Tebow somehow ducked under the defender and ran for paydirt. At the goal line, he crashed through three FSU defenders like they were a child’s building blocks, among them the aforementioned Hayes, for the score.

The result: Florida Field never really calmed down after that early TD and Tebow went on to account for five in a 45-12 rout. Tebow won the Heisman Trophy and, if any voters were looking for a punctuation mark on his season, this was it.

The quote: “I’m not sure they really wanted to tackle him.” — UF coach Urban Meyer on his Sunday TV show.

Editor’s note: You have one Swamp game moment that comes to mind? Tell us what it is. Maybe it’s already on our Top 25 list. We’ll update readers on top moments from fans as the countdown proceeds.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Looks like Dooley took someone’s suggestion from the other day for various Top 25 lists to heart. All good, it’s the offseason, we all crave content, but we’d rather not have the content from Spring.

    We need a Top 25 of Best of Dooley’s Top 25s… WE DEMAND IT!!!

      • One of my favorites came on his call in show. A Tennessee fan called in and predicted the Vols would win. Without any hesitation, Spurrier shot back, “I wouldn’t bet a whole bunch of money on that.”

    • I was that someone! My wife’s and my favorite moment came at the home game vs Georgia. The Gator D was giving Eric Zeier fits. The victory was record-setting as the Gators’ 52 points were the highest total against Georgia. In addition, Florida scored three defensive touchdowns for the first time and harassed Zeier into a career-high four interceptions, including an 81-yard interception tight-rope running return by defensive back Darren Hambrick. What we liked best was when everyone still at the game were chanting “Ziiiii-er, Ziiii-er!” The year before was the Anthone Lott timeout, nullifying a game winning TD pass from Zeier and the year after, we hung another 50 on uga between their shrubs.

      • I was at that game, sitting with the Dawgs. There was a 3 play series, where Weurffel hit Doering in the back of the end zone, but was called back (plus penalty yards) for a hold against the Gators. The very next play, AGAIN, Weurffel to Doering in the end zone, this time called back as it was ruled Doering stepped out of the back of the end zone. The VERY NEXT play, AGAIN, Weurffel to Doering, this time upheld. The Dawg behind me turned to his friend in said in the most laid back passive way, “you’d think they’d cover that boy”. Was so funny I shared my bourbon with him.

        • lmao.. that’s a priceless memory right there

          I don’t have a whole bunch of good stadium memories because most of my stadium days were Muschamp… But I do remember my brother jumping up and cheering when Demps ran back a kick for a TD. He’s a die-hard FSU fan — just got swept up in the moment.

          My last real football game stadium memory — getting kicked out of the stadium and being forced to stand next to the wall outside while the police asked me and my party questions and did sobriety tests on us. Because the usher was pissed at somebody else and decided to take his anger out on me. I will never forget that asshole’s name (Malachi).

          • Sorry about your stadium memories. However, that is unbelievable, a nolie jumps up and cheers for a Demps TD!! Priceless!

            My wife got kicked out of a UToothless game because her baggie with Bourbon in it was sticking out of her pocket, and a trooper caught her. They took her to a holding room and gave her the fifth, then told her never to come back. I snuck her back in fifteen minutes later!!

  2. ”Peace Corps.” The cover of the NATIONAL (at the time, not regional like today) ”Sports Illustrated” with Peace and the Florida Gators the lead story. As Miami DROPS to Florida Football. Florida Q.B. Wayne Peace throws a high ball to James Jones heading towards the North East corner of Florida Field. He literally jumps up, sticks up ONLY one hand, falling backwards unto the pylon, Florida R.B. James pulls it in, TOUCHDOWN, FLORIDA! Chomp-chomp, and oh, quite timely for the upcoming ‘O’ Town Showdown! Go Gators!

  3. gatorgi70x7: I also mentioned that game to Pat as he was talking about The List, but as he wrote, “The 25 best moments since 1992 when Spurrier gave the stadium that moniker (Swamp).” I was a student in the stands that day in 1982, a great moment indeed. And the following week’s game is just as memorable.

    • Yea I know, Arnold, hence my comment. I didn’t rank it, but perhaps I should have, then they’re wouldn’t be a misunderstanding. Pat and Robbie were trying to learn how to skim board, and probably slamming Bush in the 12 packs, wishing the that Jacksonville gets a USFL team….lol…
      I did read the article, and my sarcasm wasn’t evidently heard, read, etc… That’s the problem with print media.

  4. Alex Brown’s game vs UT in 1999 I believe was the year. Absolute one-man gang. The ’95 comeback vs. Tennessee was another beauty. Wright’s hit on Kent that game was still one the hardest I’ve ever seen.